Roots update from Cllr. Hilton

Yesterday, I met with Daniel the operations director of Roots Coffee and Community, where he was able to brief me on the problems they face, which caused the New Year announcement that Roots would close permanently on 10th of February.

It is clear that the pandemic, staff sickness and inflation has impacted negatively on their financial health, but all is not lost.

The community does need to rally round and I understand that they would welcome additional involvement in the running of Roots from members of the Kingsholm community. 

I understand the board of the Roots community interest company is to meet early next week, where a proposal to hold a public meeting is on the agenda. 

If a public meeting is called, which I would support, I would encourage those that are interested in saving Roots, to attend if they can. 

I’m happy to receive emails from people that I can pass onto Roots. 

New residents’ parking permit scheme in Kingsholm to go live on 10th July

Gloucestershire County Council has said that the new residents’ parking permit scheme for Kingsholm should be active and go live on the 10th of July.

Lib Dem councillor for Kingsholm, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton has said that the process to get here has been long and drawn out, but there has been rigorous consultation with residents.

Cllr. Hilton said: “The traffic regulation order is due to be made on the 18th of May and it will be advertised in the local paper. Everyone who responded to the consultation will be notified.

“The purpose of the new parking regulations is to give priority to residents and to relieve the area of parking congestion. Over the years I have had many requests to do something about the parking congestion problems in Kingsholm. Hopefully the new scheme, which has been subject to thorough design and consultation processes will improve the situation.”

Letters are then due to be sent to residents just before 5th June 2023 outlining the start of the installation works. This will also contain details directing residents on how to purchase parking permits.

Residents will be entitled to two permits per household. The cost of the first permit is £63.65 and the second car £127.60. There is a reduced charge for Eco cars (vehicle excise duty band A). Residents can also purchase 50 visitor vouchers a year.

Getting the Wellington Parade Garden fully established

Wellington Parade Garden – Dec 22

The Conservative controlled city council hasn’t covered itself in glory over the creation of the Wellington Parade Garden, which was finally reopened at the end of October.

A new footpath has been laid out through it and the old brick wall taken down. Unfortunately, the newly planted shrubs and plants died during the summer and new ones had to be planted.

At the 7th December cabinet I challenged the cabinet members to sort out the snags and ensure that the new garden gets regular maintenance. It must become an attractive focal point at this location on London Road.

Fire damaged section of fence

This is my question

“There have been some teething problems in creating the Wellington Parade Garden on London Road.

“It’s been redesigned after comprehensive public consultation into a form that should encourage pedestrian movements though it and discourage street drinkers congregating there day after day.

“Could the cabinet member please give me an assurance that the snagging problems will be resolved, with extra care being given to allowing the shrubs, trees and other plants to become well established in the garden?”

Here is Cllr. Raymond Padilla’s answer

“The redevelopment of the site has been completed. The garden was officially opened and available to the public on the 28th October 2022.”

“Assurances can be given that the snagging problems are being resolved, the shrubs, trees and other plants are being cared for allowing them to become well established in the garden.

“We are working with Emerging Futures who are currently litter picking as and when required. They are also going to be painting the fence and repairing the fire damaged area.

“Volunteers will also be planting bulbs to bring some colour to the area for Spring 2023 as well as ongoing upkeep of existing planting.

Here are some other agreed actions

  • Strong guards are to be put around the two trees.
  • Street name plates will be installed for both Great Western Road and Wellington Parade.
  • Work will be carried out to ensure the small brick wall cannot be sat on.
  • Both myself and Cllr. Angela Conder will keep a watching brief on the new garden as it beds in

Levelling Up Kingsholm & Wotton

Funding bids oversubscribed as application deadline closes

Clapham Court is at the heart of the area eligible for the Levelling Up Together funding

The county council launched a £1.5 million Levelling Up Together community grant scheme, the allocation to Kingsholm and Wotton is £150,000.

The funding which will be targeted at ten communities in the county where there are higher levels of financial hardship and people that need extra support.

Kingsholm and Wotton is one of the ten wards that will benefit. This all follows on from motion 881 put to the county council in September 2021 by the Liberal Democrat group.

Jeremy Hilton who seconded the motion said: “The deadline for submissions was the 27th of November and it has been oversubscribed.

“There has been no shortage of applications for a grant from the Levelling Up Together fund related to proposed projects in Kingsholm & Wotton. Much more than the £150,000 allocated to my division. 

“I have had my first meeting with officers and Cllr. Hawthorne to look at the proposals. Some are specific to my division and some are multi area applications. My priority is to support those projects that especially help Kingsholm residents who are most in need of additional support, by providing better life opportunities.”

A decision on which projects will be funded is expected in the New Year.

Latest Spotlight now being delivered

My latest Spotlight newsletter (edition 222). Delivery started today. Every home in the ward should get a copy. If you would like to join our Lib Dem network of volunteer deliverers do let me know.

Jeremy Hilton getting some exercise delivering Spotlight

Spotlight reports on the work that Cllr. Angela Conder and I do for the residents of Kingsholm & Wotton. It also has latest news of developments taking place in the ward. #LibDemAction

New Levelling Up Together grant should benefit Kingsholm & Wotton – bid deadline 27th Nov

On the 18th of October the county council launched its £1.5 million Levelling Up Together community grant scheme.

The funding which will be targeted at ten communities in the county where there are higher levels of financial hardship and people that need extra support.

Kingsholm and Wotton is one of the ten wards that could benefit. This follows on from motion 881 put to the county council in September 2021 by the Liberal Democrat group, which led to a levelling up conference.

Jeremy Hilton who seconded the motion said: “The upper limit for each application is £150,000, but there is no lower limit. The deadline for submissions is the 27th of November.

“I do encourage community groups and others to put in bids for community projects that will help improve the life opportunities of people who live in Kingsholm & Wotton.

“Each application requires the support of the local county councillor, which is me in the case of projects proposed for Kingsholm & Wotton. Do get in touch.”

More information can be obtained at:

Applications must demonstrate how the funding will contribute to Gloucestershire County Council’s ambitions to level up:

  • By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by five years.
  • By 2030, well-being will have improved in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing.
  • By 2030, the number of primary school children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths will have significantly increased.  In England, this will mean 90% of children will achieve the expected standard, and the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas will have increased by over a third.
  • By 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK.  In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually, driven by 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas.
  • By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing


Do you have an idea for how you can bring your community together?

Funding now available from the Community Infrastructure Levy for residents and communities to apply for.

The first tranche of funds of just over £70,000 comes from Glevum Green development. It is critical we get applications for projects based in Kingsholm. Get your ideas in by 22nd of July.

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows councils in England and Wales to raise funds from developers carrying out projects in their area to fund a wide range of facilities and services needed to support the new development.

CIL is calculated on a square meter basis and each council has its own charging schedule which states the rates for different types and scales of development.

Gloucester City Council has funding available from recent developments and we would like to offer the opportunity for communities to apply.

We are welcoming ideas for new and/or existing projects of up to £3,000 which support at least one of the following:

• Improve community facilities and the environment
• Have a wellbeing focus that actively tackle issues such as exclusion and isolation
• Contribute to diverse and inclusive communities
• Have an environmental focus that actively addresses climate change
• Improve access to volunteering, training or employment opportunities
• Celebrate cultural diversity

We are also welcoming ideas for larger grants of up to £15,000 which support at least one of the following themes:

• Ideas that address and combat climate change
• Ideas that enhance the natural environment
• Ideas that support equality, diversity and inclusion

What next?
Send an email to with your ward councillors which answers the following questions…

What is your project?
How does your project benefit others in your community?
Who is involved in planning and delivering the project?
Who is giving their time to support this project?
What will those involved in the project be contributing?
What will have changed in your community and when do you hope to see a difference?
How much are applying for and what will it be spent on?
Important dates
Applications for the funding will be open from Monday 13th June until closing on 22nd July.

Gloucester Lib Dems announce shadow cabinet

Sarah Sawyer, Anne Radley, Declan Wilson, Sebastian Field, Jeremy Hilton, Ashley Bowkett and Angela Conder

The Liberal Democrat group on Gloucester City Council form the opposition to the Conservative administration. Their leader is Cllr. Jeremy Hilton who has recently announced his shadow cabinet.

The seven member team will shadow the Conservative cabinet until the elections in May 2024 when they hope to take control of the city council. Until then they will provide constructive opposition.

Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said: 

“We are currently stuck with a poorly performing Conservative administration that has already had three resignations from the cabinet in recent months. They are struggling to cope and it’s our job to provide constructive challenges to their policies or lack of them. We want the best for Gloucester. 

“There are seven of us in our shadow cabinet. I call them ‘The Magnificent Seven’. Besides challenging uninspiring plans being proposed by the cabinet we shall also be working up our policies to form our 2024 manifesto to rebuild council services on taking control.”

Deputy leader, Cllr,. Declan Wilson said:

“As the second largest group, with eleven members on the council, it is down to the Liberal Democrats to challenge bad decisions and provide realistic alternatives. That is what we have been doing since May 2021.

“Our shadow cabinet is brimming with good ideas. We will do our best to make sure that from now until May 2024, the ‘Vanishing Council’ doesn’t sink any further.”

The Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet:

Leader and Regeneration: Cllr. Jeremy Hilton

Deputy Leader and Performance & Resources: Cllr. Declan Wilson

Culture & Leisure: Cllr: Sebastian Field

Communities & Neighbourhoods Cllr: Anne Radley

Environment: Cllr. Ashley Bowkett

Planning: Cllr. Sarah Sawyer

Housing: Cllr. Angela Conder

Housing stock survey to protect Kingsholm’s family homes is delayed by council red-tape

Cllr. Angela Conder and Cllr. Jeremy Hilton at Oxford Road. One of the roads most affected by the loss of family homes being converted into Houses in Multiple Occupation

A promised housing stock survey in Kingsholm has been delayed yet again by council red-tape. The latest excuse was provided by the Conservative cabinet member in a written answer to a question from Lib Dem councillor for Kingsholm, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton.

The survey is planned so that the council can provide definitive evidence that too many family homes in Kingsholm are being converted into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

A 130-signature petition was handed into the cabinet by Jeremy Hilton in November 2020. 

The Petition said:

“Too many family homes in Kingsholm are being converted into Houses in Multiple Occupation, without planning permission being required. It is currently permitted development for six persons or less.

I/We the undersigned demand that the city council starts work immediately on preparing evidence and documentation to apply to the Secretary of State to give Kingsholm the protection of an Article 4 Direction. This means that all conversions of family homes into Houses in Multiple Occupation would require planning permission.”

Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:

“Lib Dems tried to amend the council plan in July 2020 to get the work started on a housing stock survey, but the Conservatives voted it down.

“That is why I raised an online petition to get public support. I handed it in at the November 2020 cabinet.

“Shortly afterwards, I met officers who suggested we schedule the survey work for April this year. Then it was delayed until the summer to be part of a countywide housing survey.

“Now the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy says there have been delays because of legal queries and the tender documents haven’t been issued. It is ridiculous, the word incompetence comes to mind.

The written question and the answer published in the council papers of the 23rd of September 2021

Kingsholm ward colleague, Cllr. Angela Conder (Lib Dem) said:

“Kingsholm residents are frustrated by the Conservative council’s reluctance to treat Kingsholm as a special case. We see the onward creep of Houses in Multiple Occupation and the damage done to the community. Parking, noise and litter all contribute to the degradation of our once-quiet streets.”

Jeremy Hilton concluded: 

“It is very frustrating trying to get projects implemented at the city council. We are given dates, then later dates and then sometime never. The Conservatives have cut back so far, nothing seems to get done on time. The council has accurately been described as the ‘vanishing council’. 

“This housing stock survey is critical in getting our planning rules toughened up to protect Kingsholm’s family homes. It cannot be delayed further by red-tape or more accurately blue-tape.”